Although the Detroit Tigers will not need to make many roster changes to be competitive in 2014, their payroll will be significantly higher than 2013. The Tigers’ payroll was amongst the top five in baseball last season. The payroll was less than $150 million at the opening day. By the end of the season it had grown to $160 millions thanks to Jose Iglesias’ signing. Ilitch won’t discourage free agents despite the fact that they are a valuable part the team, despite the higher payroll.
The Tigers signed three players in the offseason, and kept three more. Boyd, Goodrum, and Greiner were all non-tendered, but they brought back Dustin Garneau, who had been out of minor-league options. They already knew who they wanted to bring back for next year, and it looks like Garneau will get the job. Four minor-league free agents were also signed by the Tigers this winter, but no final agreements have been made.
Two players will see their salaries rise to $7MM. The Tigers paid Matt Harrison $55 million in January, and Fister has a strong case for topping that. Fister could also surpass Felix Hernandez’s contract which he signed before the 2010 season. The Tigers will have to think big if the team wants to keep both of these players. Porcello is in a completely different situation, with a 4.51 career ERA.
Dickerson is a veteran Michigan sportscaster and the lead play-by-play announcer for the Tigers. He joined the Tigers in 2000 and worked for Hall of Fame broadcaster Ernie Harwell. He also plays-by-plays on Bally Sports Detroit during off-season and teaches a course on play-by play. His wife, Pat Caputo, is a professor at Michigan State University and hosts a weekly talk show called Tiger Talk.
The Tigers were one of the most active teams on the hot stove market after the World Series and they acquired two key players in the off-season. They were also active in shortstop after signing a Gold Glove catcher in free agency. They also signed Javier Baez as their new centerpiece. The team is still trying for the playoffs for first time since 2014.
Although the salary structure for the Detroit Tigers is quite high, it does reflect the need to pay players well. They have been building a long-term winning team for many years and recently began their third season with a lucrative TV deal. In addition to Jim Price, they have two other major league broadcasters. Tom Dickerson is the play-by-play announcer for WKBD-TV, and Dan Dickerson serves as their color analyst for FSN Detroit.